Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

I am close to opening my new space and our investors are already looking to the future! We are 90% pre-sold on dedicated offices (doors open August 15). Anyways, I have been the operations manager for other businesses in the past and have had to set up SOP manuals. Has anyone else done this? Are these common in the coworking world? It would seem to make sense, especially for larger spaces or multi-location spaces.

Brian Fisher

T-Werx Coworking

Cedar Park, TX

Yes I’ve done this twice now at different coworking spaces. So helpful when you hire and train new employees. Typically keep it in google docs so its easily edited on the fly with new info and procedures.

···

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 10:56:01 AM UTC-7, Brian Fisher wrote:

I am close to opening my new space and our investors are already looking to the future! We are 90% pre-sold on dedicated offices (doors open August 15). Anyways, I have been the operations manager for other businesses in the past and have had to set up SOP manuals. Has anyone else done this? Are these common in the coworking world? It would seem to make sense, especially for larger spaces or multi-location spaces.

Brian Fisher

T-Werx Coworking

Cedar Park, TX

Boys and Girls!

Do you know https://app.process.st/ - this is GREAT for working this stuff out (esp if you are VERY allergic to writing these things down like me! :slight_smile:

···

Have a remarkable day

Bernie J Mitchell

0777 204 2012

www.engaging-people.com

This was sent from my mobile device (sorry for any typos) Urgent? Get me here - http://awayfind.com/berniejmitchell

-----Original Message-----
[Coworking] Re: Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

From: Meaghen Liebe [email protected]

To: Coworking [email protected]

Cc:

Wed, 20 Jul 2016 11:21:14 -0700 (PDT)

Yes I’ve done this twice now at different coworking spaces. So helpful when you hire and train new employees. Typically keep it in google docs so its easily edited on the fly with new info and procedures.

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 10:56:01 AM UTC-7, Brian Fisher wrote:

I am close to opening my new space and our investors are already looking to the future! We are 90% pre-sold on dedicated offices (doors open August 15). Anyways, I have been the operations manager for other businesses in the past and have had to set up SOP manuals. Has anyone else done this? Are these common in the coworking world? It would seem to make sense, especially for larger spaces or multi-location spaces.

Brian Fisher

T-Werx Coworking

Cedar Park, TX

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to coworking [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Did you also create employee handbooks?

···

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 12:56:01 PM UTC-5, Brian Fisher wrote:

I am close to opening my new space and our investors are already looking to the future! We are 90% pre-sold on dedicated offices (doors open August 15). Anyways, I have been the operations manager for other businesses in the past and have had to set up SOP manuals. Has anyone else done this? Are these common in the coworking world? It would seem to make sense, especially for larger spaces or multi-location spaces.

Brian Fisher

T-Werx Coworking

Cedar Park, TX

Hey Brian,

We’ve been doing the same, except didn’t term it as SOP, but rather created a FAQ Document where we had several questions about coworking and coworkers being answered. And keeping it on Google Docs make sense so that you can make edits and additions while on the go. You never know when the right idea might just pop and you would want to make that necessary addition to it on the phone or tab.

Vaibhav N

NQube Inc.

New Delhi, India

···

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 11:26:01 PM UTC+5:30, Brian Fisher wrote:

I am close to opening my new space and our investors are already looking to the future! We are 90% pre-sold on dedicated offices (doors open August 15). Anyways, I have been the operations manager for other businesses in the past and have had to set up SOP manuals. Has anyone else done this? Are these common in the coworking world? It would seem to make sense, especially for larger spaces or multi-location spaces.

Brian Fisher

T-Werx Coworking

Cedar Park, TX

This is a super cool tool, Bernie. Thanks for sharing it!

···

On Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 4:08 PM, Bernie [email protected] wrote:

Boys and Girls!

Do you know https://app.process.st/ - this is GREAT for working this stuff out (esp if you are VERY allergic to writing these things down like me! :slight_smile:


Have a remarkable day

Bernie J Mitchell

0777 204 2012

www.engaging-people.com

This was sent from my mobile device (sorry for any typos) Urgent? Get me here - http://awayfind.com/berniejmitchell

-----Original Message-----
[Coworking] Re: Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

From: Meaghen Liebe [email protected]

To: Coworking [email protected]

Cc:

Wed, 20 Jul 2016 11:21:14 -0700 (PDT)

Yes I’ve done this twice now at different coworking spaces. So helpful when you hire and train new employees. Typically keep it in google docs so its easily edited on the fly with new info and procedures.

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 10:56:01 AM UTC-7, Brian Fisher wrote:

I am close to opening my new space and our investors are already looking to the future! We are 90% pre-sold on dedicated offices (doors open August 15). Anyways, I have been the operations manager for other businesses in the past and have had to set up SOP manuals. Has anyone else done this? Are these common in the coworking world? It would seem to make sense, especially for larger spaces or multi-location spaces.

Brian Fisher

T-Werx Coworking

Cedar Park, TX

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to coworking [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

This is something that we’ve slowly been getting better at, and we’re trying to stay thoughtful about it while we do it.

I don’t have a problem with rules, I have a problem with creating an environment that creates rule-following machines.*I see a LOT of coworking spaces where staff and members alike are more worried about following the rules than looking after each other. *

So about 5 years ago, I started this by trying to write down the fundamentals about how I make decisions, so that our community could better understand why things work. The result has been live on our public website for quite a while, broken down into a sort of “plinko board” of actions that we always strive for, and actions we try to avoid. It’s sort of like a hybrid of a SOP and a living breathing action-oriented version of our community values, documented:

We always:

…help unlikely groups of likeminded people form relationships.

…focus on people and their interactions, and the formation of relationships.

…help people tell the stories of the experiences they have in Philadelphia.

…trust people to do the right thing.

…guide people to being good citizens of Indy Hall and of Philadelphia.

…support people in their goals of building businesses to last, in Philadelphia and for Philadelphia.

We never:

…do anything against our community’s interest.

…focus on desks or square footage.

…create something only because we think we’re supposed to.

…accept the status quo.

…accept a “no” at face value.

…compromise our core values.

…prioritize a transaction before a relationship.

Every day, we:

…keep people at the center of every action, interaction, and decision.

…welcome new community members, and make it clear that Indy Hall is theirs, not just ours.

…always look for a way to say yes.

…teach others in our immediate and neighboring communities how we operate.

I literally use these guidelines for decision making 100x a day, and it’s awesome to watch my team and even members use and reference this when figuring out how to make things work.

A simpler version that we put on our welcome one-pagers, and include as a major part of our tour, is to:

  • Look after yourself
  • Look after each other
  • Look after this place
    In all cases, we’re SUPER careful in our language choice to make it clear, before providing SOP documentation, that anything documented is meant to help, but not constrain. Any “rule” is open to being adjusted, adapted, or rewritten to help us better achieve our goals working together.

I’m curious how others have found balance between SOP and handbook-style documentation, and still allowing/encouraging people to “color outside of the lines” and trusting people to do what’s right?

-Alex

···

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 5:38 AM, Vaibhav N [email protected] wrote:

Hey Brian,

We’ve been doing the same, except didn’t term it as SOP, but rather created a FAQ Document where we had several questions about coworking and coworkers being answered. And keeping it on Google Docs make sense so that you can make edits and additions while on the go. You never know when the right idea might just pop and you would want to make that necessary addition to it on the phone or tab.

Vaibhav N

NQube Inc.

New Delhi, India

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 11:26:01 PM UTC+5:30, Brian Fisher wrote:

I am close to opening my new space and our investors are already looking to the future! We are 90% pre-sold on dedicated offices (doors open August 15). Anyways, I have been the operations manager for other businesses in the past and have had to set up SOP manuals. Has anyone else done this? Are these common in the coworking world? It would seem to make sense, especially for larger spaces or multi-location spaces.

Brian Fisher

T-Werx Coworking

Cedar Park, TX

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

Alex

This is great info! Thank you for sharing. This is more in tune with what I am thinking. The SOP was more for behind the scenes items. NOT for the community and interacting with members. The SOP as far as members will how to enroll new members or dis-enroll, administrative stuff.

I know we will have some “ground rules” for the community. But the things will organically develop as far as handling things that come up in the community.

We are more geared towards your way of thinking.

···

On Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 8:50:40 AM UTC-5, Alex Hillman wrote:

This is something that we’ve slowly been getting better at, and we’re trying to stay thoughtful about it while we do it.

I don’t have a problem with rules, I have a problem with creating an environment that creates rule-following machines.*I see a LOT of coworking spaces where staff and members alike are more worried about following the rules than looking after each other. *

So about 5 years ago, I started this by trying to write down the fundamentals about how I make decisions, so that our community could better understand why things work. The result has been live on our public website for quite a while, broken down into a sort of “plinko board” of actions that we always strive for, and actions we try to avoid. It’s sort of like a hybrid of a SOP and a living breathing action-oriented version of our community values, documented:

We always:

…help unlikely groups of likeminded people form relationships.

…focus on people and their interactions, and the formation of relationships.

…help people tell the stories of the experiences they have in Philadelphia.

…trust people to do the right thing.

…guide people to being good citizens of Indy Hall and of Philadelphia.

…support people in their goals of building businesses to last, in Philadelphia and for Philadelphia.

We never:

…do anything against our community’s interest.

…focus on desks or square footage.

…create something only because we think we’re supposed to.

…accept the status quo.

…accept a “no” at face value.

…compromise our core values.

…prioritize a transaction before a relationship.

Every day, we:

…keep people at the center of every action, interaction, and decision.

…welcome new community members, and make it clear that Indy Hall is theirs, not just ours.

…always look for a way to say yes.

…teach others in our immediate and neighboring communities how we operate.

I literally use these guidelines for decision making 100x a day, and it’s awesome to watch my team and even members use and reference this when figuring out how to make things work.

A simpler version that we put on our welcome one-pagers, and include as a major part of our tour, is to:

  • Look after yourself
  • Look after each other
  • Look after this place
    In all cases, we’re SUPER careful in our language choice to make it clear, before providing SOP documentation, that anything documented is meant to help, but not constrain. Any “rule” is open to being adjusted, adapted, or rewritten to help us better achieve our goals working together.

I’m curious how others have found balance between SOP and handbook-style documentation, and still allowing/encouraging people to “color outside of the lines” and trusting people to do what’s right?

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 5:38 AM, Vaibhav N [email protected] wrote:

Hey Brian,

We’ve been doing the same, except didn’t term it as SOP, but rather created a FAQ Document where we had several questions about coworking and coworkers being answered. And keeping it on Google Docs make sense so that you can make edits and additions while on the go. You never know when the right idea might just pop and you would want to make that necessary addition to it on the phone or tab.

Vaibhav N

NQube Inc.

New Delhi, India

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 11:26:01 PM UTC+5:30, Brian Fisher wrote:

I am close to opening my new space and our investors are already looking to the future! We are 90% pre-sold on dedicated offices (doors open August 15). Anyways, I have been the operations manager for other businesses in the past and have had to set up SOP manuals. Has anyone else done this? Are these common in the coworking world? It would seem to make sense, especially for larger spaces or multi-location spaces.

Brian Fisher

T-Werx Coworking

Cedar Park, TX

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Totally :slight_smile: glad this resonates.

One thing to keep in mind - we go out of our way to apply these same guidelines to our internal, back-office processes too.

I see a lot of places burn through lots of “community management” staff because they just hire cogs to run their SOPs, but the net result is that those people have very little actual buy-in for making the place better, or making the processes better.

Our hiring promise is: you help make Indy Hall better, Indy Hall will help make you better.

So don’t forget to include your staff in that sense of ownership I’m always talking about for community building. When I’m hiring, a big part of what I’m looking for is someone who wants to look for ways to improve the space, the community, and our processes, not just keep things the way they are.

-Alex

···

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 10:44 AM, Brian Fisher [email protected] wrote:

Alex

This is great info! Thank you for sharing. This is more in tune with what I am thinking. The SOP was more for behind the scenes items. NOT for the community and interacting with members. The SOP as far as members will how to enroll new members or dis-enroll, administrative stuff.

I know we will have some “ground rules” for the community. But the things will organically develop as far as handling things that come up in the community.

We are more geared towards your way of thinking.

On Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 8:50:40 AM UTC-5, Alex Hillman wrote:

This is something that we’ve slowly been getting better at, and we’re trying to stay thoughtful about it while we do it.

I don’t have a problem with rules, I have a problem with creating an environment that creates rule-following machines.*I see a LOT of coworking spaces where staff and members alike are more worried about following the rules than looking after each other. *

So about 5 years ago, I started this by trying to write down the fundamentals about how I make decisions, so that our community could better understand why things work. The result has been live on our public website for quite a while, broken down into a sort of “plinko board” of actions that we always strive for, and actions we try to avoid. It’s sort of like a hybrid of a SOP and a living breathing action-oriented version of our community values, documented:

We always:

…help unlikely groups of likeminded people form relationships.

…focus on people and their interactions, and the formation of relationships.

…help people tell the stories of the experiences they have in Philadelphia.

…trust people to do the right thing.

…guide people to being good citizens of Indy Hall and of Philadelphia.

…support people in their goals of building businesses to last, in Philadelphia and for Philadelphia.

We never:

…do anything against our community’s interest.

…focus on desks or square footage.

…create something only because we think we’re supposed to.

…accept the status quo.

…accept a “no” at face value.

…compromise our core values.

…prioritize a transaction before a relationship.

Every day, we:

…keep people at the center of every action, interaction, and decision.

…welcome new community members, and make it clear that Indy Hall is theirs, not just ours.

…always look for a way to say yes.

…teach others in our immediate and neighboring communities how we operate.

I literally use these guidelines for decision making 100x a day, and it’s awesome to watch my team and even members use and reference this when figuring out how to make things work.

A simpler version that we put on our welcome one-pagers, and include as a major part of our tour, is to:

  • Look after yourself
  • Look after each other
  • Look after this place
    In all cases, we’re SUPER careful in our language choice to make it clear, before providing SOP documentation, that anything documented is meant to help, but not constrain. Any “rule” is open to being adjusted, adapted, or rewritten to help us better achieve our goals working together.

I’m curious how others have found balance between SOP and handbook-style documentation, and still allowing/encouraging people to “color outside of the lines” and trusting people to do what’s right?

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 5:38 AM, Vaibhav N [email protected] wrote:

Hey Brian,

We’ve been doing the same, except didn’t term it as SOP, but rather created a FAQ Document where we had several questions about coworking and coworkers being answered. And keeping it on Google Docs make sense so that you can make edits and additions while on the go. You never know when the right idea might just pop and you would want to make that necessary addition to it on the phone or tab.

Vaibhav N

NQube Inc.

New Delhi, India

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 11:26:01 PM UTC+5:30, Brian Fisher wrote:

I am close to opening my new space and our investors are already looking to the future! We are 90% pre-sold on dedicated offices (doors open August 15). Anyways, I have been the operations manager for other businesses in the past and have had to set up SOP manuals. Has anyone else done this? Are these common in the coworking world? It would seem to make sense, especially for larger spaces or multi-location spaces.

Brian Fisher

T-Werx Coworking

Cedar Park, TX

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

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The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

Our operating manual is on our Podio system. Here’s a screenshot http://screencast.com/t/jaC8rqu9s

Here’s a specific process http://screencast.com/t/qvQ2GXdxp - note that every item on Podio has a chat next to it, which means we can discuss any item as we go, or any member of the team can seek clarification

If you look at the icons at the top (ie these http://screencast.com/t/fIBi2tb98V ) you’ll see that we’ve got similar items for processes and stuff like fixed assets too (see http://screencast.com/t/L52YHhGm )

One of the most useful apps/items on there is ‘thoughts’, which I created as a blame free space for any of my team to share issues/ideas/gripes- whatever we put in there no one else is allowed to take personally. It’s really useful, and tends to drive change, as thoughts become projects, and projects get ratified at Town Hall. Podio can handle the journey for these thoughts throughout these stages, even spitting out an agenda for Town Hall based on all the thoughts, and a list of outstanding issues which I discuss with my team every Friday. Here’s some thoughts from the system http://screencast.com/t/TPtegrByp and one specific thought http://screencast.com/t/cxIVKGHb

This is all back office, but we have a similar setup for our member-facing part of Podio, and indeed the way Podio works is that we can share stuff from back to front or vice versa (the latter being useful for when a member reports a problem and it’s logged in the back office part of the system)

And if that’s not enough, here’s a picture of a cat in a flowerpot http://screencast.com/t/8T0Dg9lU5G1

···

On Thursday, 21 July 2016 16:17:04 UTC+1, Alex Hillman wrote:

Totally :slight_smile: glad this resonates.

One thing to keep in mind - we go out of our way to apply these same guidelines to our internal, back-office processes too.

I see a lot of places burn through lots of “community management” staff because they just hire cogs to run their SOPs, but the net result is that those people have very little actual buy-in for making the place better, or making the processes better.

Our hiring promise is: you help make Indy Hall better, Indy Hall will help make you better.

So don’t forget to include your staff in that sense of ownership I’m always talking about for community building. When I’m hiring, a big part of what I’m looking for is someone who wants to look for ways to improve the space, the community, and our processes, not just keep things the way they are.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 10:44 AM, Brian Fisher [email protected] wrote:

Alex

This is great info! Thank you for sharing. This is more in tune with what I am thinking. The SOP was more for behind the scenes items. NOT for the community and interacting with members. The SOP as far as members will how to enroll new members or dis-enroll, administrative stuff.

I know we will have some “ground rules” for the community. But the things will organically develop as far as handling things that come up in the community.

We are more geared towards your way of thinking.

On Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 8:50:40 AM UTC-5, Alex Hillman wrote:

This is something that we’ve slowly been getting better at, and we’re trying to stay thoughtful about it while we do it.

I don’t have a problem with rules, I have a problem with creating an environment that creates rule-following machines.*I see a LOT of coworking spaces where staff and members alike are more worried about following the rules than looking after each other. *

So about 5 years ago, I started this by trying to write down the fundamentals about how I make decisions, so that our community could better understand why things work. The result has been live on our public website for quite a while, broken down into a sort of “plinko board” of actions that we always strive for, and actions we try to avoid. It’s sort of like a hybrid of a SOP and a living breathing action-oriented version of our community values, documented:

We always:

…help unlikely groups of likeminded people form relationships.

…focus on people and their interactions, and the formation of relationships.

…help people tell the stories of the experiences they have in Philadelphia.

…trust people to do the right thing.

…guide people to being good citizens of Indy Hall and of Philadelphia.

…support people in their goals of building businesses to last, in Philadelphia and for Philadelphia.

We never:

…do anything against our community’s interest.

…focus on desks or square footage.

…create something only because we think we’re supposed to.

…accept the status quo.

…accept a “no” at face value.

…compromise our core values.

…prioritize a transaction before a relationship.

Every day, we:

…keep people at the center of every action, interaction, and decision.

…welcome new community members, and make it clear that Indy Hall is theirs, not just ours.

…always look for a way to say yes.

…teach others in our immediate and neighboring communities how we operate.

I literally use these guidelines for decision making 100x a day, and it’s awesome to watch my team and even members use and reference this when figuring out how to make things work.

A simpler version that we put on our welcome one-pagers, and include as a major part of our tour, is to:

  • Look after yourself
  • Look after each other
  • Look after this place
    In all cases, we’re SUPER careful in our language choice to make it clear, before providing SOP documentation, that anything documented is meant to help, but not constrain. Any “rule” is open to being adjusted, adapted, or rewritten to help us better achieve our goals working together.

I’m curious how others have found balance between SOP and handbook-style documentation, and still allowing/encouraging people to “color outside of the lines” and trusting people to do what’s right?

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 5:38 AM, Vaibhav N [email protected] wrote:

Hey Brian,

We’ve been doing the same, except didn’t term it as SOP, but rather created a FAQ Document where we had several questions about coworking and coworkers being answered. And keeping it on Google Docs make sense so that you can make edits and additions while on the go. You never know when the right idea might just pop and you would want to make that necessary addition to it on the phone or tab.

Vaibhav N

NQube Inc.

New Delhi, India

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 11:26:01 PM UTC+5:30, Brian Fisher wrote:

I am close to opening my new space and our investors are already looking to the future! We are 90% pre-sold on dedicated offices (doors open August 15). Anyways, I have been the operations manager for other businesses in the past and have had to set up SOP manuals. Has anyone else done this? Are these common in the coworking world? It would seem to make sense, especially for larger spaces or multi-location spaces.

Brian Fisher

T-Werx Coworking

Cedar Park, TX

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

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…which I created as a blame free space for any of my team to share issues/ideas/gripes- whatever we put in there no one else is allowed to take personally.

This is genius - while I try (and won’t stop working) to make this our default on the day to day basis, it never occurred to me to create a designated “home” for it.

Love it.

···

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 1:17 PM, Tom Lewis [email protected] wrote:

Our operating manual is on our Podio system. Here’s a screenshot http://screencast.com/t/jaC8rqu9s

Here’s a specific process http://screencast.com/t/qvQ2GXdxp - note that every item on Podio has a chat next to it, which means we can discuss any item as we go, or any member of the team can seek clarification

If you look at the icons at the top (ie these http://screencast.com/t/fIBi2tb98V ) you’ll see that we’ve got similar items for processes and stuff like fixed assets too (see http://screencast.com/t/L52YHhGm )

One of the most useful apps/items on there is ‘thoughts’, which I created as a blame free space for any of my team to share issues/ideas/gripes- whatever we put in there no one else is allowed to take personally. It’s really useful, and tends to drive change, as thoughts become projects, and projects get ratified at Town Hall. Podio can handle the journey for these thoughts throughout these stages, even spitting out an agenda for Town Hall based on all the thoughts, and a list of outstanding issues which I discuss with my team every Friday. Here’s some thoughts from the system http://screencast.com/t/TPtegrByp and one specific thought http://screencast.com/t/cxIVKGHb

This is all back office, but we have a similar setup for our member-facing part of Podio, and indeed the way Podio works is that we can share stuff from back to front or vice versa (the latter being useful for when a member reports a problem and it’s logged in the back office part of the system)

And if that’s not enough, here’s a picture of a cat in a flowerpot http://screencast.com/t/8T0Dg9lU5G1

On Thursday, 21 July 2016 16:17:04 UTC+1, Alex Hillman wrote:

Totally :slight_smile: glad this resonates.

One thing to keep in mind - we go out of our way to apply these same guidelines to our internal, back-office processes too.

I see a lot of places burn through lots of “community management” staff because they just hire cogs to run their SOPs, but the net result is that those people have very little actual buy-in for making the place better, or making the processes better.

Our hiring promise is: you help make Indy Hall better, Indy Hall will help make you better.

So don’t forget to include your staff in that sense of ownership I’m always talking about for community building. When I’m hiring, a big part of what I’m looking for is someone who wants to look for ways to improve the space, the community, and our processes, not just keep things the way they are.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 10:44 AM, Brian Fisher [email protected] wrote:

Alex

This is great info! Thank you for sharing. This is more in tune with what I am thinking. The SOP was more for behind the scenes items. NOT for the community and interacting with members. The SOP as far as members will how to enroll new members or dis-enroll, administrative stuff.

I know we will have some “ground rules” for the community. But the things will organically develop as far as handling things that come up in the community.

We are more geared towards your way of thinking.

On Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 8:50:40 AM UTC-5, Alex Hillman wrote:

This is something that we’ve slowly been getting better at, and we’re trying to stay thoughtful about it while we do it.

I don’t have a problem with rules, I have a problem with creating an environment that creates rule-following machines.*I see a LOT of coworking spaces where staff and members alike are more worried about following the rules than looking after each other. *

So about 5 years ago, I started this by trying to write down the fundamentals about how I make decisions, so that our community could better understand why things work. The result has been live on our public website for quite a while, broken down into a sort of “plinko board” of actions that we always strive for, and actions we try to avoid. It’s sort of like a hybrid of a SOP and a living breathing action-oriented version of our community values, documented:

We always:

…help unlikely groups of likeminded people form relationships.

…focus on people and their interactions, and the formation of relationships.

…help people tell the stories of the experiences they have in Philadelphia.

…trust people to do the right thing.

…guide people to being good citizens of Indy Hall and of Philadelphia.

…support people in their goals of building businesses to last, in Philadelphia and for Philadelphia.

We never:

…do anything against our community’s interest.

…focus on desks or square footage.

…create something only because we think we’re supposed to.

…accept the status quo.

…accept a “no” at face value.

…compromise our core values.

…prioritize a transaction before a relationship.

Every day, we:

…keep people at the center of every action, interaction, and decision.

…welcome new community members, and make it clear that Indy Hall is theirs, not just ours.

…always look for a way to say yes.

…teach others in our immediate and neighboring communities how we operate.

I literally use these guidelines for decision making 100x a day, and it’s awesome to watch my team and even members use and reference this when figuring out how to make things work.

A simpler version that we put on our welcome one-pagers, and include as a major part of our tour, is to:

  • Look after yourself
  • Look after each other
  • Look after this place
    In all cases, we’re SUPER careful in our language choice to make it clear, before providing SOP documentation, that anything documented is meant to help, but not constrain. Any “rule” is open to being adjusted, adapted, or rewritten to help us better achieve our goals working together.

I’m curious how others have found balance between SOP and handbook-style documentation, and still allowing/encouraging people to “color outside of the lines” and trusting people to do what’s right?

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 5:38 AM, Vaibhav N [email protected] wrote:

Hey Brian,

We’ve been doing the same, except didn’t term it as SOP, but rather created a FAQ Document where we had several questions about coworking and coworkers being answered. And keeping it on Google Docs make sense so that you can make edits and additions while on the go. You never know when the right idea might just pop and you would want to make that necessary addition to it on the phone or tab.

Vaibhav N

NQube Inc.

New Delhi, India

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 11:26:01 PM UTC+5:30, Brian Fisher wrote:

I am close to opening my new space and our investors are already looking to the future! We are 90% pre-sold on dedicated offices (doors open August 15). Anyways, I have been the operations manager for other businesses in the past and have had to set up SOP manuals. Has anyone else done this? Are these common in the coworking world? It would seem to make sense, especially for larger spaces or multi-location spaces.

Brian Fisher

T-Werx Coworking

Cedar Park, TX

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

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The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

Yeah and it means they can bitch at me about leaving stuff unfinished despite me being the boss!

···

On Thursday, 21 July 2016 18:58:26 UTC+1, Alex Hillman wrote:

…which I created as a blame free space for any of my team to share issues/ideas/gripes- whatever we put in there no one else is allowed to take personally.

This is genius - while I try (and won’t stop working) to make this our default on the day to day basis, it never occurred to me to create a designated “home” for it.

Love it.


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 1:17 PM, Tom Lewis [email protected] wrote:

Our operating manual is on our Podio system. Here’s a screenshot http://screencast.com/t/jaC8rqu9s

Here’s a specific process http://screencast.com/t/qvQ2GXdxp - note that every item on Podio has a chat next to it, which means we can discuss any item as we go, or any member of the team can seek clarification

If you look at the icons at the top (ie these http://screencast.com/t/fIBi2tb98V ) you’ll see that we’ve got similar items for processes and stuff like fixed assets too (see http://screencast.com/t/L52YHhGm )

One of the most useful apps/items on there is ‘thoughts’, which I created as a blame free space for any of my team to share issues/ideas/gripes- whatever we put in there no one else is allowed to take personally. It’s really useful, and tends to drive change, as thoughts become projects, and projects get ratified at Town Hall. Podio can handle the journey for these thoughts throughout these stages, even spitting out an agenda for Town Hall based on all the thoughts, and a list of outstanding issues which I discuss with my team every Friday. Here’s some thoughts from the system http://screencast.com/t/TPtegrByp and one specific thought http://screencast.com/t/cxIVKGHb

This is all back office, but we have a similar setup for our member-facing part of Podio, and indeed the way Podio works is that we can share stuff from back to front or vice versa (the latter being useful for when a member reports a problem and it’s logged in the back office part of the system)

And if that’s not enough, here’s a picture of a cat in a flowerpot http://screencast.com/t/8T0Dg9lU5G1

On Thursday, 21 July 2016 16:17:04 UTC+1, Alex Hillman wrote:

Totally :slight_smile: glad this resonates.

One thing to keep in mind - we go out of our way to apply these same guidelines to our internal, back-office processes too.

I see a lot of places burn through lots of “community management” staff because they just hire cogs to run their SOPs, but the net result is that those people have very little actual buy-in for making the place better, or making the processes better.

Our hiring promise is: you help make Indy Hall better, Indy Hall will help make you better.

So don’t forget to include your staff in that sense of ownership I’m always talking about for community building. When I’m hiring, a big part of what I’m looking for is someone who wants to look for ways to improve the space, the community, and our processes, not just keep things the way they are.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 10:44 AM, Brian Fisher [email protected] wrote:

Alex

This is great info! Thank you for sharing. This is more in tune with what I am thinking. The SOP was more for behind the scenes items. NOT for the community and interacting with members. The SOP as far as members will how to enroll new members or dis-enroll, administrative stuff.

I know we will have some “ground rules” for the community. But the things will organically develop as far as handling things that come up in the community.

We are more geared towards your way of thinking.

On Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 8:50:40 AM UTC-5, Alex Hillman wrote:

This is something that we’ve slowly been getting better at, and we’re trying to stay thoughtful about it while we do it.

I don’t have a problem with rules, I have a problem with creating an environment that creates rule-following machines.*I see a LOT of coworking spaces where staff and members alike are more worried about following the rules than looking after each other. *

So about 5 years ago, I started this by trying to write down the fundamentals about how I make decisions, so that our community could better understand why things work. The result has been live on our public website for quite a while, broken down into a sort of “plinko board” of actions that we always strive for, and actions we try to avoid. It’s sort of like a hybrid of a SOP and a living breathing action-oriented version of our community values, documented:

We always:

…help unlikely groups of likeminded people form relationships.

…focus on people and their interactions, and the formation of relationships.

…help people tell the stories of the experiences they have in Philadelphia.

…trust people to do the right thing.

…guide people to being good citizens of Indy Hall and of Philadelphia.

…support people in their goals of building businesses to last, in Philadelphia and for Philadelphia.

We never:

…do anything against our community’s interest.

…focus on desks or square footage.

…create something only because we think we’re supposed to.

…accept the status quo.

…accept a “no” at face value.

…compromise our core values.

…prioritize a transaction before a relationship.

Every day, we:

…keep people at the center of every action, interaction, and decision.

…welcome new community members, and make it clear that Indy Hall is theirs, not just ours.

…always look for a way to say yes.

…teach others in our immediate and neighboring communities how we operate.

I literally use these guidelines for decision making 100x a day, and it’s awesome to watch my team and even members use and reference this when figuring out how to make things work.

A simpler version that we put on our welcome one-pagers, and include as a major part of our tour, is to:

  • Look after yourself
  • Look after each other
  • Look after this place
    In all cases, we’re SUPER careful in our language choice to make it clear, before providing SOP documentation, that anything documented is meant to help, but not constrain. Any “rule” is open to being adjusted, adapted, or rewritten to help us better achieve our goals working together.

I’m curious how others have found balance between SOP and handbook-style documentation, and still allowing/encouraging people to “color outside of the lines” and trusting people to do what’s right?

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 5:38 AM, Vaibhav N [email protected] wrote:

Hey Brian,

We’ve been doing the same, except didn’t term it as SOP, but rather created a FAQ Document where we had several questions about coworking and coworkers being answered. And keeping it on Google Docs make sense so that you can make edits and additions while on the go. You never know when the right idea might just pop and you would want to make that necessary addition to it on the phone or tab.

Vaibhav N

NQube Inc.

New Delhi, India

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 11:26:01 PM UTC+5:30, Brian Fisher wrote:

I am close to opening my new space and our investors are already looking to the future! We are 90% pre-sold on dedicated offices (doors open August 15). Anyways, I have been the operations manager for other businesses in the past and have had to set up SOP manuals. Has anyone else done this? Are these common in the coworking world? It would seem to make sense, especially for larger spaces or multi-location spaces.

Brian Fisher

T-Werx Coworking

Cedar Park, TX

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

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Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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This is great Tom! I know as we grow in the future this will be invaluable for our team to resolve and handle issues!

Thank you!

···

On Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 11:04:19 AM UTC-7, Tom Lewis wrote:

Yeah and it means they can bitch at me about leaving stuff unfinished despite me being the boss!

On Thursday, 21 July 2016 18:58:26 UTC+1, Alex Hillman wrote:

…which I created as a blame free space for any of my team to share issues/ideas/gripes- whatever we put in there no one else is allowed to take personally.

This is genius - while I try (and won’t stop working) to make this our default on the day to day basis, it never occurred to me to create a designated “home” for it.

Love it.


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 1:17 PM, Tom Lewis [email protected] wrote:

Our operating manual is on our Podio system. Here’s a screenshot http://screencast.com/t/jaC8rqu9s

Here’s a specific process http://screencast.com/t/qvQ2GXdxp - note that every item on Podio has a chat next to it, which means we can discuss any item as we go, or any member of the team can seek clarification

If you look at the icons at the top (ie these http://screencast.com/t/fIBi2tb98V ) you’ll see that we’ve got similar items for processes and stuff like fixed assets too (see http://screencast.com/t/L52YHhGm )

One of the most useful apps/items on there is ‘thoughts’, which I created as a blame free space for any of my team to share issues/ideas/gripes- whatever we put in there no one else is allowed to take personally. It’s really useful, and tends to drive change, as thoughts become projects, and projects get ratified at Town Hall. Podio can handle the journey for these thoughts throughout these stages, even spitting out an agenda for Town Hall based on all the thoughts, and a list of outstanding issues which I discuss with my team every Friday. Here’s some thoughts from the system http://screencast.com/t/TPtegrByp and one specific thought http://screencast.com/t/cxIVKGHb

This is all back office, but we have a similar setup for our member-facing part of Podio, and indeed the way Podio works is that we can share stuff from back to front or vice versa (the latter being useful for when a member reports a problem and it’s logged in the back office part of the system)

And if that’s not enough, here’s a picture of a cat in a flowerpot http://screencast.com/t/8T0Dg9lU5G1

On Thursday, 21 July 2016 16:17:04 UTC+1, Alex Hillman wrote:

Totally :slight_smile: glad this resonates.

One thing to keep in mind - we go out of our way to apply these same guidelines to our internal, back-office processes too.

I see a lot of places burn through lots of “community management” staff because they just hire cogs to run their SOPs, but the net result is that those people have very little actual buy-in for making the place better, or making the processes better.

Our hiring promise is: you help make Indy Hall better, Indy Hall will help make you better.

So don’t forget to include your staff in that sense of ownership I’m always talking about for community building. When I’m hiring, a big part of what I’m looking for is someone who wants to look for ways to improve the space, the community, and our processes, not just keep things the way they are.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 10:44 AM, Brian Fisher [email protected] wrote:

Alex

This is great info! Thank you for sharing. This is more in tune with what I am thinking. The SOP was more for behind the scenes items. NOT for the community and interacting with members. The SOP as far as members will how to enroll new members or dis-enroll, administrative stuff.

I know we will have some “ground rules” for the community. But the things will organically develop as far as handling things that come up in the community.

We are more geared towards your way of thinking.

On Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 8:50:40 AM UTC-5, Alex Hillman wrote:

This is something that we’ve slowly been getting better at, and we’re trying to stay thoughtful about it while we do it.

I don’t have a problem with rules, I have a problem with creating an environment that creates rule-following machines.*I see a LOT of coworking spaces where staff and members alike are more worried about following the rules than looking after each other. *

So about 5 years ago, I started this by trying to write down the fundamentals about how I make decisions, so that our community could better understand why things work. The result has been live on our public website for quite a while, broken down into a sort of “plinko board” of actions that we always strive for, and actions we try to avoid. It’s sort of like a hybrid of a SOP and a living breathing action-oriented version of our community values, documented:

We always:

…help unlikely groups of likeminded people form relationships.

…focus on people and their interactions, and the formation of relationships.

…help people tell the stories of the experiences they have in Philadelphia.

…trust people to do the right thing.

…guide people to being good citizens of Indy Hall and of Philadelphia.

…support people in their goals of building businesses to last, in Philadelphia and for Philadelphia.

We never:

…do anything against our community’s interest.

…focus on desks or square footage.

…create something only because we think we’re supposed to.

…accept the status quo.

…accept a “no” at face value.

…compromise our core values.

…prioritize a transaction before a relationship.

Every day, we:

…keep people at the center of every action, interaction, and decision.

…welcome new community members, and make it clear that Indy Hall is theirs, not just ours.

…always look for a way to say yes.

…teach others in our immediate and neighboring communities how we operate.

I literally use these guidelines for decision making 100x a day, and it’s awesome to watch my team and even members use and reference this when figuring out how to make things work.

A simpler version that we put on our welcome one-pagers, and include as a major part of our tour, is to:

  • Look after yourself
  • Look after each other
  • Look after this place
    In all cases, we’re SUPER careful in our language choice to make it clear, before providing SOP documentation, that anything documented is meant to help, but not constrain. Any “rule” is open to being adjusted, adapted, or rewritten to help us better achieve our goals working together.

I’m curious how others have found balance between SOP and handbook-style documentation, and still allowing/encouraging people to “color outside of the lines” and trusting people to do what’s right?

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 5:38 AM, Vaibhav N [email protected] wrote:

Hey Brian,

We’ve been doing the same, except didn’t term it as SOP, but rather created a FAQ Document where we had several questions about coworking and coworkers being answered. And keeping it on Google Docs make sense so that you can make edits and additions while on the go. You never know when the right idea might just pop and you would want to make that necessary addition to it on the phone or tab.

Vaibhav N

NQube Inc.

New Delhi, India

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 11:26:01 PM UTC+5:30, Brian Fisher wrote:

I am close to opening my new space and our investors are already looking to the future! We are 90% pre-sold on dedicated offices (doors open August 15). Anyways, I have been the operations manager for other businesses in the past and have had to set up SOP manuals. Has anyone else done this? Are these common in the coworking world? It would seem to make sense, especially for larger spaces or multi-location spaces.

Brian Fisher

T-Werx Coworking

Cedar Park, TX

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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Speaking of the "thoughts" section--we start each meeting with "airing of grievances." It has been fantastic and allows us to solve problems on the spot or at least record the action that needs to be taking. We have over a year of grievances recorded in our meeting notes!

Hi Alex, Thanks so much for sharing this! I love seeing explicit guidelines for interactions/decisions. It inspired me to think about how Collective Agency is similar and different, and vision. We have Community Guidelines (9 rules and a preface) which I look to whenever a ‘decision’ comes up (in quotes because it usually isn’t a decision once I look at the guidelines, and I love that). http://collectiveagency.co/community-guidelines/ It’s our Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for everybody there including staff (and interactions with staff).

I love how you have “We always” “…help people tell the stories of the experiences they have in Philadelphia.” – that’s come up recently for us.

I’m curious about “We never” “…accept a “no” at face value.” What does that mean to you? About a year ago we started always accepting a no at face value and also accepting an unenthusiastic yeah as a no, and a maybe is open to the person saying what they want, but if they don’t become ‘hell yes’ or ‘enthusiastic yes’ or ‘fuck yes’ then it is a no. So if someone really wants X and we don’t provide it, it’s either on them to figure out what will get them to a fuck yes, or it’s a no. Since then I think there’s more joy and presence here, and certainly more people and $$$.

···

On Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 6:50:40 AM UTC-7, Alex Hillman wrote:

This is something that we’ve slowly been getting better at, and we’re trying to stay thoughtful about it while we do it.

I don’t have a problem with rules, I have a problem with creating an environment that creates rule-following machines.*I see a LOT of coworking spaces where staff and members alike are more worried about following the rules than looking after each other. *

So about 5 years ago, I started this by trying to write down the fundamentals about how I make decisions, so that our community could better understand why things work. The result has been live on our public website for quite a while, broken down into a sort of “plinko board” of actions that we always strive for, and actions we try to avoid. It’s sort of like a hybrid of a SOP and a living breathing action-oriented version of our community values, documented:

We always:

…help unlikely groups of likeminded people form relationships.

…focus on people and their interactions, and the formation of relationships.

…help people tell the stories of the experiences they have in Philadelphia.

…trust people to do the right thing.

…guide people to being good citizens of Indy Hall and of Philadelphia.

…support people in their goals of building businesses to last, in Philadelphia and for Philadelphia.

We never:

…do anything against our community’s interest.

…focus on desks or square footage.

…create something only because we think we’re supposed to.

…accept the status quo.

…accept a “no” at face value.

…compromise our core values.

…prioritize a transaction before a relationship.

Every day, we:

…keep people at the center of every action, interaction, and decision.

…welcome new community members, and make it clear that Indy Hall is theirs, not just ours.

…always look for a way to say yes.

…teach others in our immediate and neighboring communities how we operate.

I literally use these guidelines for decision making 100x a day, and it’s awesome to watch my team and even members use and reference this when figuring out how to make things work.

A simpler version that we put on our welcome one-pagers, and include as a major part of our tour, is to:

  • Look after yourself
  • Look after each other
  • Look after this place
    In all cases, we’re SUPER careful in our language choice to make it clear, before providing SOP documentation, that anything documented is meant to help, but not constrain. Any “rule” is open to being adjusted, adapted, or rewritten to help us better achieve our goals working together.

I’m curious how others have found balance between SOP and handbook-style documentation, and still allowing/encouraging people to “color outside of the lines” and trusting people to do what’s right?

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 5:38 AM, Vaibhav N [email protected] wrote:

Hey Brian,

We’ve been doing the same, except didn’t term it as SOP, but rather created a FAQ Document where we had several questions about coworking and coworkers being answered. And keeping it on Google Docs make sense so that you can make edits and additions while on the go. You never know when the right idea might just pop and you would want to make that necessary addition to it on the phone or tab.

Vaibhav N

NQube Inc.

New Delhi, India

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 11:26:01 PM UTC+5:30, Brian Fisher wrote:

I am close to opening my new space and our investors are already looking to the future! We are 90% pre-sold on dedicated offices (doors open August 15). Anyways, I have been the operations manager for other businesses in the past and have had to set up SOP manuals. Has anyone else done this? Are these common in the coworking world? It would seem to make sense, especially for larger spaces or multi-location spaces.

Brian Fisher

T-Werx Coworking

Cedar Park, TX

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